With a number of new stars entering the snooker scene and Ronnie O’Sullivan having his successful career behind him, is there much more he can offer the sport?
The five-time World Champion has an established career in snooker, winning title after title and earning millions from turning professional at the age of 16 to the present day. His major titles include five World Championships, five UK Championships and five Masters titles, alongside tournaments around the world on the snooker circuit.
The Rocket has won everything the sport can offer him, so maybe there isn’t a great deal more he can bring to the game other than his unique style of play and overall showmanship.
His recent titles in the last two seasons have been the UK Championship, the Welsh Open, the Masters and the Champion of Champions on two occasions, and he currently sits fifth in the world rankings. O’Sullivan is evidently still playing at somewhat near his best, despite taking a quarter-final exit in the 2015 World Championship.
In the Masters earlier this year, he overtook Stephen Hendry’s all-time record of century breaks when he made his 776th career century. He went on to make more century breaks towards the end of the season, and it cannot be questioned why he is one of the best break-builders snooker has ever seen.
O’Sullivan has made 13 maximum breaks of 147 in his career, the most of any player in the sport’s long history, and it is difficult to imagine the game without his presence.
The Rocket pulled out of the 2012-2013 season early and there was much doubt over his future in snooker, but on his return came back stronger than ever.
It has looked like his head hasn’t been completely in his game for the last few years, as winning everything might suggest he feels there is nothing more the sport has to offer. This hasn’t stopped him from winning titles, and he has proved he can win when he is playing far from his best.
The recent World Championships had a lot of controversy surrounding O’Sullivan, from being in trouble for playing a frame in just his socks, to a warning over an obscene gesture and placing his chalk on the table to line up a shot. These incidents are something that would not be associated with The Rocket years ago, which gives the impression he may not be as committed to the game as he used to be.
Regardless of this, his ability cannot go unnoticed as he is still showing why he is one of the best players to grace the game. Throughout his career his thrilling style has been incredible to watch and the sport’s spectators will be hoping O’Sullivan is playing for many years to come.
A player of The Rocket’s aptitude is irreplaceable, and it is obvious that snooker still needs him in the game even if he isn’t as committed in the latter stages of his successful career as he was when he began. It is important to take in Ronnie O’Sullivan’s part in snooker every time he plays, because the sport may never see a player of his class and growing list of achievements again.